"I have had this 98 XLT for 2 years now. All I have done is normal maintance other then I had to replace the intake Manifold gaskets. that I did myself in 2 hours. Ive put 17,000 miles on it since I have had it, has 145,120 miles on it. I have drove it from Columbus, ohio to New Orleans, LA, with no problems at all and got 20mpg, only down fall is comfort on the long trip. Only other problem is the Radio/clock display dont work, but the radio, CD and tape works great, the display comes on once in a great while for a few minutes.
I also have a 92 explorer non 4x4 that I have had the transmission rebuilt twice, the A4LD transmissions are junk, so if you want to buy a explorer or ranger Have the transmissions checked, and avoid the A4LDs!!"
"So this was my first truck, and I bought it used with just over 150k miles about a year ago. It's a 1997 Explorer Sport, and this thing has just blown me away. I've put almost 40k miles on it in the last year, and I haven't had a single problem other than an $8 heater control valve. Every morning it starts without hesitation, even with the unusual winter we've had in NC. Which brings me to one of my biggest points; the 4x4 on this truck is incredible. My Explorer is equipped with the optional limited slip differential, combined with the ControlTrak 4x4 system, I had no issues in the snow and ice. I have to drive in moderate off road/muddy conditions every day, and I have never had a problem, even running with cheap Dextero street tires. I drive it hard, take 7-8 hour long trips frequently, off road daily, and haul friends and family everywhere. It's comfortable, it runs smooth, it's got plenty of towing torque, and it's safe.
I do have a few complaints though. One, the base 4.0 OHV V6 is severely under-powered and requires a lead foot pulling out on to highways. The gas mileage is absolute garbage. It feels hesitant in tight corners, and the transmission is starting to shift hard. Considering what I put the truck through, I'm not surprised.
To make up for those complaints though, I installed an aftermarket air intake, it gave a bit more power and improved the mileage by 2-3mpg. A $200 investment that's already paid for itself.
All in all, this truck has never failed me, and is, for lack of better words, Built Ford Tough."
"I love this truck, Great when I go anywhere even fishing.
Take off road no problem, I laugh at our snow fall now chews up the snow and spits it out, drove through 29 inch snow storm with ease.
I feel very safe in this truck"
"Bought vehicle with 60,000 miles. Now has over 125,000. Have never done any work other than general maintanance. Not a lot of power, but only has the V6. Runs well, rides nice and gets decent mileage (16/21). Interior has held up well and all the electronics work great. Has been a very good, reliable vehicle and I would get another if I were looking for a new SUV."